Female rank and reproductive success among arashiyama B Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata)
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Five hypotheses that related female rank and reproductive success were tested in an intact troop of free-ranging, provisioned, Japanese macaques. The hypotheses stated that high-ranking females (1) begin parturition earlier in life than low-ranking females; (2) produce more offspring than low-ranking females; (3) give birth during some optimal time during the birth season to a greater extent than low-ranking females; (4) experience less infant mortality than low-ranking females;and (5) more frequently produce male offspring, while low-ranking females more frequently produce female offspring. A statistical analysis of the data which included three birth seasons and 55 adult females and 34 pubescent females, all of known age, rank, and matrifocal membership in the Arashiyama B troop, revealed few significant results. An association was found between the rank of the matrifocal unit and the age of first birth. However, the relationship was the reverse of hypothesis 1, i.e., females of the lower-ranking matrifocal units began parturition earlier than females of higher-ranking matrifocal units. Therefore, in this troop of Japanese monkeys— where alternative feeding strategies existed— there was little association between female rank and reproductive success.
Key wordsMacaca female rank reproductive success parturition mortality
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